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J Ultrasound Med. 1991 Jan;10(1):1-7.

Ultrasonographic posttreatment follow-up of breast cancer patients.

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  • 1Service de Radiodiagnostic, Centre Antoine-Lacassagne, Nice, France.


Clinical, radiographic (mammograms), and ultrasonographic data were compared retrospectively for 171 patients to evaluate the utility of ultrasound for the follow-up of breast cancer patients treated medically or by conservative surgery. When used to follow patients treated medically by induction or exclusive chemotherapy, ultrasonography accurately quantified tumor and nodal regression. After conservative surgery, sonograms are ideal to diagnose (and sometimes to treat) early complications such as hematoma, lymphocele, and abscess. Ultrasonography was more sensitive than mammography for the detection of late complications and benign lesions, but was insufficient for the detection of recurrent disease (95.5% sensitivity for radiography vs 90% for ultrasonography). After radical surgery and breast reconstruction, ultrasonography is the only procedure required for follow-up of patients with breast implants because it can determine the size and penetration of cutaneous recurrences. The fact that 30% of patients treated by lumpectomy and irradiation ultimately develop malignant or benign abnormalities justifies systematic ultrasonography for the follow-up of treated breast cancers. All sonographically demonstrable abnormalities warrant ultrasound-guided puncture biopsy.

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